SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KGTV) - Becca Cook didn’t know she’d break records and inspire others when she joined the Scripps Ranch High School varsity football team. For her, it was just fun.
“Honestly, I just wanted to play football. I had no idea the impact it would have on other women,” the high school senior said.
She’s a defensive lineman for the team, and shows off the bruises covering her arms and legs, saying that's a regular occurrence for her.
“Obviously being a woman I am smaller. These players are bigger, stronger, faster and I have to work ten times harder to get to the baseline of their strength and to do what they can do,” she said.
The first game she played this year, she unknowingly made history. She was the first female to play a down on the varsity team at her school, something she found out minutes before she took to the field.
She said now, other students and parents will come and say hi to her, thanking her for shattering this sports ceiling.
“I had people coming up to me saying ‘oh you’re Rebecca Cook, you’re on the football team’ and I’m like ‘yeah who are you?’ and they’re like ‘oh I’m just a fan. You’ve inspired me it’s so awesome to see you out here and representing us,’” she said.
Friday, April 16 was a bittersweet day for the athlete. She just started playing football this year, which is her last year of high school. With the season coming to an end Friday, she realized it’s the last time she’ll take to the field as an athlete.
“I know there’s going to be a lot of tears from a lot of the guys out there. I don’t know if I’ll cry but it’s definitely going to be sad to see everyone leave and to know this is the last time I’m going to be able to be here,” she said.
She’s not done achieving goals, though. She said next, she’s heading to college then med school. She hopes to become a trauma surgeon.
As she exits the football field, she said one of her biggest takeaways from playing football is the realization that it’s important to never pass up any opportunity.
“If you really want to do something in life, just go for it because if you think about it later on in the future you’re always going to regret 'oh I didn’t do this,'” she said.